Social Media Trends to Watch in 2016

Staying ahead of the curve is not just a choice but a necessity for businesses aiming to thrive in the digital landscape. As we delve into 2016, a pivotal year for the evolution of online engagement, it becomes increasingly apparent that traditional approaches to social media marketing are no longer sufficient. The pace of change is relentless, and businesses must be attuned to emerging trends to leverage the full potential of their online presence. In this article, we unveil the top 10 social media trends poised to reshape how companies connect with their audience in 2016. From the dominance of live video to the intricacies of social adaptation, each movement represents a unique facet of the evolving social media landscape that businesses should observe and strategically integrate to remain at the forefront of the digital conversation.

Live Video Dominance:

    • Live video is set to take centre stage, with platforms like Snapchat leading the way in delivering instant and engaging content.
    • The rise of live-casting technologies, such as Periscope, YouTube (360 videos), Facebook Live, and Blab, will redefine how businesses connect with their audience.
    • Expect the introduction of live 360-degree broadcasts, providing an immersive experience for viewers.

Custom Visuals as Essential:

    • Visual marketing will continue to grow, requiring brands to develop a solid visual content strategy.
    • Companies should create anchor content and adapt it for various platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and blogs.
    • Tools like Canva for Work and Relay will play a crucial role in streamlining the creation of diverse visual content.

Social Media Advert Traffic:

    • The trend of social networks charging for traffic will gain momentum as algorithms become more challenging to leverage organically.
    • Improved ad targeting on platforms like Facebook will become the norm to ensure maximum visibility and engagement.

Content-Based SEO:

    • Content remains king, and optimizing organic content for social signals becomes imperative.
    • Social content will become more visible in search results, blurring the lines between traditional web searches and social media inquiries.

Mobile Comes First:

    • Mobile devices, especially smartphones and tablets, are the primary screens for social media users.
    • Marketers must prioritize mobile-friendly content, considering the increasing reliance on smartphones and the rise of smart TVs and smartwatches.

Instant & Constant Customer Interaction:

    • Real-time content will continue to dominate with features like instant articles and lead ads.
    • Brands should focus on providing instant gratification through content that resonates with users in seconds.

Instant Content:

    • Platforms like Periscope, Instagram, and Snapchat will push for more in-the-moment updates, challenging the traditional scheduling of social media posts.

Social Private Media:

    • Private groups and messaging apps will become prominent for social interaction.
    • Brands must adapt to this shift, providing their audience with a more personal and private experience.

Social Adaptation:

    • Adaptive social strategies will be crucial, requiring businesses to align with the needs of influencers, employees, and customers.
    • Companies must customize content and engagement based on the preferences of diverse social communities.

Improved Searching:

    • Social media search capabilities will advance, with features like Pinterest’s visual search leading the way.

The trends of 2016 are not mere observations but guiding lights for businesses navigating the digital expanse. The resonance of live video, the imperative of visual storytelling, and the inexorable rise of mobile-first strategies underscore the nature of the digital conversation. Social media is not merely a tool for businesses; it is a dynamic ecosystem where adaptation is the key to relevance. As these trends converge and diverge, companies must recognize the symbiotic relationship between innovation and audience expectation. The path forward is paved with live interactions, visual narratives, and an unwavering commitment to understanding and adapting to the diverse tapestry of social media users. As businesses embark on this journey, the question lingers: will you merely observe the trends or be the architect of your digital destiny?